Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stuffed Zucchini (Mushrooms or Peppers)

These little babies are tasty and fun. They work as an excellent appetizer or would be great on a buffet table at a friendly gathering...and what do you know - they are quite healthy. Loaded with veggies and roasted to goodness.

I found this recipe in a book called The Occasional Vegetarian by Karen Lee with Diane Porter and wanted to try it, however, it looked quite complicated. So Kelly and I decided to simplify the recipe, remove a couple of ingredients, and give it to you. We choose to stuff zucchini, figuring they would be quicker and easier than traditional stuffed mushrooms. However, because we had a bit of stuffing left over, we grabbed a couple mushrooms and a red pepper and stuffed those as well. Overall, I think I preferred the zucchinis, but the others were also delicious. In the future, I think I would stuff all three vegetables to provide a variety of taste and textures.

Stuffed Zucchini (Mushrooms and Peppers)
Recipe by Two Little Chefs
Pictures by Caroline

4 medium zucchinis to stuff (or mushrooms, red, or yellow peppers)

½ cup chopped red or yellow pepper
½ cup dried bread crumbs
1/3 cup chopped white mushrooms
¼ cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried parsley

1. Cut the zucchini into 1-inch pieces and scoop out with a spoon. Try to scoop just over half of the center of the zucchini out as it will make more space for the filling, which you will appreciate in the end. Place the zucchini on a lightly grease cookie sheet. **If you are using mushrooms or peppers do the following: Pop the stems of the mushrooms off and cut a thin slice off the top of the mushroom so that it will sit flat – like a little cup. Brush the hollow of the mushroom with olive oil. For the peppers, cut lengthwise into 4 pieces and remove any seeds; then cut those quarters in half.
2. For the stuffing, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the peppers and continue to sauté until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Combine the mushroom mixture with the bread crumbs, egg, cheese, and parsley. Stuff the zucchini (mushrooms or peppers) with the mushroom mixture; be sure to pack the mixture in tightly. (If you want, you can brush the top of each stuffed vegetable with a little bit of olive oil.)
4. Preheat the broiler. Broil 6 inches for the heat until well browned, 7 to 10 minutes, but watch closely. Remove the stuffed veggies and serve warm or at room temperature.
ps...if you are looking for a sauce to pair these with, I think that the Buttermilk Dipping Sauce included with our Fried Green Tomatoes would be fab. Try it and let us know how it works.

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